Helenopolis (Bithynia)

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Helenopolis (Greek: Ἑλενόπολις) or Drepana (Δρέπανα) or Drepanon (Δρέπανον) was an ancient Greco-Roman and Byzantine town and bishopric in Bithynia, Asia Minor, on the southern side of the Gulf of Astacus. It has been identified with the modern village of Hersek, in the district of Altınova, Yalova Province. It is traditionally considered as the birthplace of Saint Helena.


According to the 6th-century historian Procopius, Helena's son Emperor Constantine the Great renamed the city "Helenopolis" to honor her birthplace; but the name may simply have honored her without marking her birthplace. Constantine also built there a church in honour of the martyr Saint Lucian; it soon grew in importance, and Constantine lived there very often towards the end of his life. Near it were some famous mineral springs. These mineral springs might be those of Termal near Yalova. Emperor Justinian built there an aqueduct, baths and other monuments. It does not seem ever to have grown, and it was slightingly called (a pun on its name) Eleinou Polis, "the wretched town".

Ecclesiastical history

The see of Helenopolis in Bithynia was a suffragan of the Metropolis of Nicomedia.Michel Le Quien mentions nine of its bishops. Macrinus, the first, is said to have been at the Council of Nicaea (325), but his name is not given in the authentic lists of the members of the council. About 400, the church of Helenopolis was governed by Palladius of Galatia, the friend and defender of John Chrysostom, and author of the Historia Lausiaca. The last known bishop assisted at the Council of Constantinople (879-880). Helenopolis occurs in the Notitiae Episcopatuum until the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Helenopolis in Bithynia is included in the Catholic Church's list of titular sees.

Notes and references

Sources and external links

Catholic Encyclopedia source Catholic Hierarchy page This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
This dGuide uses material from the Wikipedia,
released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.


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